The Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1

Tiffany Poon, age 15, won the First Prize and the Best Performance of Concerto Award at the VIII Moscow International Fredrick Chopin Competition for Young Pianists held in Moscow on September 20, 2012. This is the final stage of the competition, where she performed Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 in E Minor Op.11 with Moscow Chamber Orchestra of Pavel Slobodkin Centre under Vladimir Ryzhaev.

Chopin Piano Concerto No 1 in E minor, Op 11 D antoni wit Piano nikolai demidenko

Elina Akselrud plays Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 (David Loebel cond. NEC Symphony) made by SiMon

The Composition

Frederic Chopin (Poland, 1810-1849) was a romantic composer and virtuoso pianist. He wrote his first piano concerto in E minor, Op. 11, in 1830 at the age of 20. During the same time, he also composed the piano concerto in F minor, Op. 23. It is now believed that the F minor piano concerto actually was his first piano concerto. It is unknown why the two have been published in the opposite order.

Speculations are that the publisher did not want to publish both because they were technically far too difficult. For some reason, the publisher might have favored the E minor concerto, which consequently became Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1.

Chopin does not include dialogues between the orchestra and the solo piano, nor the interweaving of voices. The orchestra and the solo piano rather alternate between each other which is seen as a statement of Chopin's love for the piano itself. The piano soloist, his means of expression and technical virtuoso capabilities have absolute priority for Chopin.

In the first movement, Allegro maestoso, the orchestra introduces three themes that are all taken up by the solo piano. It is full of intense emotions. The second movement, the Romance-Larghetto, has songlike themes and a contrasting dramatic middle part. It is very delicate and has affinities to the Nocturnes that Chopin composed later on. The third movement, Rondo-Vivace, is infectious, using influences from folk music. The piano soloist is expressing his outmost virtuoso joy of playing until the final climax.

The Life of Chopin

Frederic Chopin is considered one of the most popular and most influential pianists and composers of piano works. HIs father was French, his mother Polish and he grew up in Warsaw, Poland...more

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